A Poem/Song from a Reader
Joel writes ...
a huge thanks to you. Been reading all your stuff for about 6 years, since I was a youth pastor/ worship leader at a non-denonimational evangelical church....which has been my family for 30 years. As many others have said more eloquently, I found my voice and questions in your writings (as well as others in the emergent circles) and remain hopeful. If I hadn't read your stuff, gone to your conferences (Off the Map in Baltimore, EMC in NY City) I may have thrown out the whole story (or box of puzzle pieces to use a metaphor of yours). I know a lot less than I was "certain" about before, but I know and am trying to live into a few very core and seemingly solid values/practices in the way of Love. Much more to my story, but I thought I might pass on a piece I wrote which may encourage others on the journey...peace and thanks Brian and friends....
A Psalm Of Exile Joel Usher January 2011
Leaving is part of finding...disillusionment and failed certainty
Fuel the agonizing pregnancy of desire to be free.
Free from that world of half truths and of bad "good news"
Leaving that which, in Loves name, excluded the "other"
It sometimes healed, but it sometimes smothered
The crushing yet hopeful choice to move from the familiar,
To push away from that cadence of myopic pseudo-living,
Which impeded my daily breaths.
That choice....invites me into a new but ancient journey,
Escaping a half-lived, partially tasted story...
But for now I'm...
In this place of in-betweens
Where the path behind is hardly seen
In this place of in-betweens
Being drawn to where I've never been
Letting go is no substitute for holding on,
But it's a necessary middle place.
Hands have to be emptied in order to grasp well,
But emptiness sometimes wishes to own us,
Before we grasp the life we know we were meant to loudly live
And this always seems to happen... In this place of in-betweens Where the path behind is hardly seen In this place of in-betweens Being drawn to where I long to be Sitting by the waters in this Babylon I won’t hang my harp and I won't weep And if songs must be sung in this foreign land Then these songs are the songs I will sing Yes, these songs are the songs I will sing... In this place of in-betweens Where the path behind is hardly seen In this place of in-betweens Being drawn to where I've got to be
Long Island Taskforce
The abolition of child sex slavery and exploitation. Nothing less.
Joel - thanks for these beautiful words. I know many people will "amen" them from their own experience. By the way, you'll find an amazing resonance between what you describe poetically here and what I describe in my upcoming book ... This is the passage between what I'll call the third and fourth stage or season in the spiritual life. Thanks again for sharing - and thanks for the link to love146.org. Keep up the good work!